Better Than Ezra – The Fillmore at Irving Plaza 6/19/09 Concert Review
By: Andrew Bilach
On Friday, June 19th, I had the pleasure of seeing Better Than Ezra at The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza. Tyrone Wells, a singer/songwriter from Spokane, Washington opened the show.
I spoke with Tyrone two days prior to the show as the band was on their way to Philadelphia. He has a Howie Day meets Dashboard Confessional vibe, if that makes any sense. The guy has tremendous stage presence. I can definitely see him achieving a huge following in the months and years ahead. Although his style of music isn’t something I typically enjoy in a live concert setting, I can say with certainty that he’s an excellent performer. A couple got engaged during his performance, which was kind of cool.
Better Than Ezra is as polished as they come. Sure, I can see people turning their heads, especially the hard rock community, but honestly, if they come to your area, spend the money. They did a two hour set that contained songs from their new record, Paper Empire, as well as almost their entire catalog of hits. There were some covers thrown in as well, such as “I Miss You” from the Rolling Stones and “Laid” by James. I walked in thinking I was seeing a little bit of nostalgia, and left realizing these guys got it. Hands down, it was one of the best shows I ever saw in Irving Plaza, and I’ve seen at least 75. I now know why the venue was completely sold out, and why Boston was sold out weeks in advance the following the night.
In what came as a surprise to everyone, Eli and Peyton Manning were attendance. They were brought on-stage and threw signed footballs to the crowd. This was awesome.
Better Than Ezra played this show like they had something to prove. They played with fire and that’s something you don’t see this day and age.